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Megha S. Shah*, Tapkir Madhuri, Waghmare Monika and Dr. Rajesh J. Oswal


Mental disorders have become highly prevalent due to ambitious lifestyle, urbanization and stressful environment. Schizophrenia is a debilitating, hereditary, disorder of the brain, resulting from abnormalities that arises early in life and disrupt normal development of the brain and has a lifetime risk of 1% and affects at all age groups, approximately 10% die from suicide. Schizophrenia has three major categories of symptoms. Positive or psychotic symptoms, where a person's experiences hallucinations, delusions and thought disorders; negative symptoms such as a difficulty with showing normal emotional response and behaviours (including "flat affect", reduced feelings of pleasure, and reduced speaking); and cognitive symptoms that affect a person's memory or other aspects of thinking. Also other symptoms include problems with using information, decision making and paying attention. Although antipsychotic drugs are the mainstay of treatment of schizophrenia, but they are associated with serious adverse effects such as tardive dyskinesia, oxidative stress, EPS. In addition, about 20% of people do not respond adequately to the treatment. Growing evidences supporting the dysregulation of antioxidant defense mechanism and a parallel increase in oxidative load has been reported by several studies in schizophrenia. Although oxidative stress was produced by long term use of conventional antipsychotic medication, Ayurvedic, herbal medicines and some dietary supplements score positively on this aspect, since they can be used long-term without any serious side effects and also possess antioxidant potential. Several herbal and dietary combinations are now available which can be used independently in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of schizophrenia. For Schizophrenic patients with severe symptoms, the Ayurvedic medicines and dietary supplements can be added to a modern medicine as adjuvant therapy, so that the therapeutic effect is optimized, without increasing the side-effect load.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Herbal drug, Oxidative stress, Dietary supplements, Antioxidants.

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